What If This Was Your Classroom? Actually It Is. 

I have this friend Phil. He’s an old college roommate. A father of three, he married his college sweetheart whom I also knew in college. He moved back to North Carolina two years ago and now he gets me to go hiking with him when he can. 

He’s also a pretty good teacher. He just does it naturally. The world is his lab. 

If you live in NC, you can’t deny that it is a beautiful state. Here in Winston-Salem, we have access to an incredible array of state parks. Today, we are at Hanging Rock. 

And it’s fantastic. The view. The air. The breeze. The sights. The sky. The trees. The sound. 

The path. The hike. The seeing where you were. The journey. 

So this teacher is thinking. If we are to prepare students to be successful in the real world then we need to make sure that we let them know how to navigate in the real world. How is what we are and could be teaching helping me at this very moment? 

  • There is the climbing up the path – physics and physical education. 
  • There is the following the trail and recognizing formations – geography. 
  • There is the counting of steps and calculations of energy expended – science and math. 
  • There is the conversation with Phil about raising kids – language arts. 
  • There is the reading of signs and posts – language arts. 
  • There is the silent use of interjections because I am really out of shape – language arts. 
  • There is the song in my head that lets me keep a rhythm -music. 
  • There is the fact that I can still do this – physical education. 
  • There is the idea that I am a part of something bigger – philosophy. 
  • There are the names that natives gave these mountains  – history. 
  • There was buying the gas and food – economics. 
  • There was the appreciation of the colors and the display  – art. 
  • There was the use of a smartphone to blog this – computer science. 

It all matters. If we make it relevant. And the real test is life itself. 

You’ll know the grade when you are done.


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